by: Scott McCaulley
Many people in the Lakes Region will always remember where they were one year ago today when on the evening of July 19, 2018, a Ride the Ducks Boat sank in the early evening hours on Table Rock Lake just as a strong thunderstorm moved through the area quickly.
While the storm produced little rain, it brought winds of over 70 MPH to the Lakes Region causing tree limbs to come down all over Stone and Taney Counties.
But the focus would be on Table Rock Lake as a Duck Boat tried to beat the storm but was unable to beat the strong winds and began to take on water. Calls went out immediately to Emergency Personnel who coverged on the area near the Showboat Branson Belle, were crew members and passengers were already trying to help those on the boat.
When all was said and done, 17 people had died on the Duck while 14 survived.
A year after a duck boat sank and killed 17 people in a Missouri lake, the future of the tourist attraction remains a topic of debate.
KOLR-10/Ozarks First among other media outlets has published at least parts of a report put together by the Associated Press talking to people looking back on the accident.
Former Branson Mayor Karen Best had to inform the families of those who died the on July 19, 2018, on Table Rock Lake. She told The Kansas City Star that she will never forget the survivors’ screams and crying, and she doesn’t see any reason the duck boats should return to the lake.
Best’s replacement, Mayor Edd Akers, says he is open to the attraction returning if the boats are altered and have improved safety measures. Akers said when all the lawsuits from the tragedy are settled, he will propose that the city create a memorial to the duck boat victims.
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